Tag Archives: Futura

Preview: 2016 Queen’s Plate


Fasten your seatbelt – the 2016 Queen’s Plate will take you for a ride! It’s gonna be fast and furious! South Africa’s best milers; no hiding place as they’re all there to land the big price!

Last years brilliant winner Futura, currently the highest rated horse in the country, is trading as the favourite at this point in time. That doesn’t come a shock, given Futura seems well in himself after an excellent prep run in the Green Point Stakes.

He finished second behind eventual winner Captain America that day, who himself will have a good crack at it today. The son of of Captain Al used to be headstrong and keen earlier in his career, but wiser and more settled now, he’s become a proper Grade 1 horse. He’s likely to attempt to make all.

The outcome of the race could very much evolve around 2014 Durban July winner Legislate. The former horse of the year had a troubled 2015 season, but is reportedly in good shape at the moment. His record as a fresh horse is notably strong and talent wise he’s probably the best horse in South Africa; he has the speed to be a world-class miler, plus the stamina to stay and win over the demanding July trip.

Last years Derby winner Legal Eagle can’t be taken lightly either, although he’s best suited to distances beyond 1.600m and his trainer didn’t make a secret of the fact that this race is a stepping stone towards the J&B Met. However Anton Marcus jumps on board, which is a significant move.

This comes a bit a surprise given that Marcus is also associated with another leading contender, Act Of War. It’s certainly not a vote of confidence in last seasons Cape Guineas winner. Future prospects may have to do with that, so could have the bad draw that AOF has to deal with today. From a similar unkind scenario he stayed on well in the Green Point the last time, though.

Not fully to be ruled out is Summer Cup winner Mister Sabina, who overcame a troubled passage in the big Grade 1. He’s better over further ,however, and may need this run. The Met is his main target.

Only one three year old tries to take on the best in class – Mike De Kock’s Noah From Goa has been a big surprise in recent weeks and month, improving dramatically from race to race. The Dingaans and Cape Guineas winner receives plenty of weight from the older rivals, however it usually is a tough task for three year olds a to be competitive in this type of race t this point of the year.

Prediction: There should be plenty of pace in the race given that a handful of runners want to be up with the speed. Expect Captain America to cross over from his wide draw pretty soon after the start. Legislate on his heels most likely, followed by Noah From Goah. That says Futura shouldn’t be too far off either.

The set-up of the race and the longer straight on the outer course could help those having to hope to feature from off the pace. Still, I expect the race to be won by those close to the speed. That means all the top contenders are likely to be in contention when it really matters and that should make for an exciting finish.

If Legislate is at his best, and he can be as a fresh horse with his record, he’s the winner and hard to beat. In my view, if Futura and Legislate are both 100%, the later one wins. But there are the questions marks about his soundness, given he was lame only three month ago.

So is it wise to go against Futura then? Maybe not, however he’s a short enough price given the competitiveness of this race. Yes, he won this making handstands last year, but value wise I can’t ignore the fact that he has to give 5kg to exiting three year old Noah From Goa.

De Kock supplemented the gelding for the race; you simply have to take notice then. Also he seems to grow fast. I liked the look of him at the Guineas, and his performance was superb that day, finding more once hitting the front. He looks more like a grinder, but that should be a perfect fit for the way I expect this race to be run. At 9/1 Noah From Goa is too big a price to ignore for me.

Noah From Goa @ 9/1 William Hill – 5pts Win

Preview: Champions Cup


4.05 Greyville: Champions Cup (Grade 1), 1m 1f

Realistically a two horse race, South Africa’s two top drawers meet once again. The score is 3-1 in favour of Legislate. and the one time Futura got the better of him, was in the Queen’s Plate earlier this year when Legislate was not right as we know.

Legislate fought back form his illness, won the Gold Challenge on his return comfortably, beating Legislate in third, for whom it was merely a July prep run, though. Futura ran with loads of credit in the big one subsequently, given the massive weight he had to shoulder. While Legislate surprisingly popped up in one of the hottest sprints of the year where he finished an excellent 3rd.

The trip today should suit both down to the grounds and it will be interesting to see who is the better one. Both are exceptional horses but Legislate always strikes me as the “special one”. He may have a tactical advantage today too, he can make all from the front without a problem and use his superior speed to kick on when it matters.

At the given prices, the value clearly lies with Legislate.

Legislate @ 5/2 Coral – 10pts Win

Clash Of The Titans: G1 Rising Sun Gold Challenge


The race is on and I couldn’t be more excited. The Group 1 Rising Sun Gold Challenge gives us the mouthwatering clash of South Africa’s heavyweights Legislate VS Futura. The two stars have made it through their preparations and trainer Justin Snaith is happy to let them take each other on.

Snaith, who is in the unique position to train both of them, recently said when talking about this: “I had good horses before. But these are the real deal. They would take on anything in the world – they are THAT good.”


Reigning horse of the year, reigning Durban July champ,  Guineas and Daily News winner – he’s done it all in 2014. Heading into the Queen’s Plate back in January, South Africa’s Premier Mile race, he was thought to be virtually unbeatable. Weeks before he stuffed his rivals, including Futura, in the Grade 2 Green Point Stakes, when returning from a deserved break after winning the biggest race of them all, the Durban July.

That’s when the problems started. After Aan unusually dismal performance in the Queen’s Plate it emerged that Legislate suffered from a severe lung infection. That took him out for months to get over it. He also missed his intended return to the track recently, when he injured himself while loading into the stalls.

So, how much ability can Legislate retain? Is he 100% today? According to Justin Snaith, Legislate couldn’t be any better. He’s ready to go, though it’s hard to know whether he’s back to his brilliant best. One the positive side: Legislate looked sensational in his public work, effortless floating over the ground.

What’s more, Legislate usually runs very well as a fresh horse. He always made a successful return – bar the Queens Plate race, where we know he wasn’t right. He’s also unbeaten at Greyville and clearly has the speed and turn of foot for 1.600m as a former Guineas winner.


A hype horse at this time last year. Futura was a massive market mover for the Durban July, South Africa’s most important race. But he wasn’t tested in Grade 1 company yet back then. He looked an emerging star – or a bubble ready to burst – whatever way you wanted to see it. But he proved his class when running out a strong third in the July, with the run of the race clearly against him. He redeemed himself soon after, landing a deserved first success on the highest level.

He hasn’t looked back since then, bar one race: When put into his place by Legislate in the Green Point Stakes. But he subsequently completed the Queen’s Plate & Met double – which is a rare feast! The handicapper reacted, put Futura’s rating up to massive 120 – which means he’s one of the top rated horses in the world now – mind you, 3lb better than Legislate!

Futura had a little break afterwards but was back as strongly as ever when winning a minor race in preparation to the Rising Sun Gold Challenge last month. The general perception is that 1.600m is not an ideal trip for him – 2.000m seems the distance. However his record over 1.600m speaks for itself. 6-4-1-1. Never been out of the money.


Of course this is not a two-horse-race. Ten more or less well fancied rivals try to land a blow against the two big guns. Ice Machine with Anton Marcus on board is the closest pursuer in the betting. He was an impressive winner of his prep race recently and loves the trip. Not one you want to underestimate but on bare form has has a little to find.

The rest of the field can only hope that the race turns into a muddling affair, which may not quite suit the heavyweights, and as a result they may encounter in-running trouble. There was a shock winner in this very same race twelve month ago, so it’s not quite out of the world. A sprint finish would probably suit Willow Magic most. He ran well in a big Grade 1 sprint recently but stays 1.600m.


I believe a Legislate at his best is the best horse in South Africa – better than Futura too. Before his injury troubles this was the general perception. He was virtually unbeatable, went into the Queen’s Plate a 9/20 chance! Over 1600m he has an advantage against Futura as well. But only if he can find back to his brilliant best.

The race will tell us if the old Legislate is back. Visually he looked superb in his work. He goes well fresh and I give him the benefit of the doubt today. He he’s almost twice as big in the betting as Futura. Convert his odds into a percental chance: 11/4 = 26.6667%.

So if I ask myself: Is Legislate a better chance in this field, if anywhere near his best? Absolutely! I’d nominate Willow Magic as the joker in the race and wouldn’t be surprised if Halve The Deficit can outrun his big price tag – although both shouldn’t be anywhere good enough if things go normal.

2.45 Greyville:
Legislate @ 11/4 Sportingbet – 10pts Win

J&B Met: Futura is a true champion!

Hype – a word, when associated with horses, then often with a negative perception. This is because hyped horses often don’t do what everyone expects them to do. They don’t live up to the hype and more often than not their names are quickly forgotten again. Happens all the time. Nothing new.

The more it is astounding what South Africa’s Futura has done since he has been hyped to win the countries most prestigious race – the Durban July – last summer. Without ever having won or even contested a a race at the highest level, he was the focus of some huge hype. His ante-post price slashed to only a fraction of it, he went off as one of the favourites on the day of the July.

He didn’t win. He finished ‘only’ third. Still a remarkable achievement considering that he didn’t have the run of the race that day. He didn’t quite live up to the hype, but he proved to be a pretty good racehorse. Since then, Futura hasn’t looked back Soon he won a deserved first Grade 1, and after a well earned break he started into a new season with a brilliant success in South Africa’s most important race over 1.600m, the Queen’s Plate.

Eventually Futura bagged his third Grade 1 victory yesterday, when he landed the prestigious J&B Met, the countries Premier 10f race, and in its importance only overshadowed by the Durban July. Futura, the second favourite behind last years Triple Crown winner Louis The King, travelled like a dream throughout, and once the home straight opened up, jockey Bernard Fayd’Herbe had only to press the button at the right time…. and whoosh off the went to win the big race! Futura produced an instant turn of foot, flying home to the line. That was easy! That was breathtaking! The world on his feet now, Futura is still a young horse with so much more to come. He truly has lived up to the hype. He’s a superstar!